Dry Martini Bar
May 11, 2018
It’s called the Dry Martini Bar and well, if you’re wondering what to order, the clue is in the name. This place is something of a shrine to that most celebrated of great cocktails. And, damn, they really know how to make a decent drink.
Opened in 1978 under the auspices of maestro Pedro Carbonell (who still holds the reins) and part of the Javier de las Muelas empire, Dry Martini is something of an institution, with all that entails – dapper staff, an abundance of dark wood and a bounty of bottles.
This place is classy yet utterly unstuffy, and you can easily imagine a tuxedoed James Bond sipping his perfectly made Martini in these chic surrounds.
Located in BCN’s Eixample district, its walls are peppered with pictures of the eponymous drink and its banquettes are filled with a grown up, content crowd sipping the smoothest of good cocktails. The discreet staff are happy to make recommendations if you’re not sure what you’re after, and you can guarantee that your drink is made with the skill and care that underlies the whole venue’s philosophy.
They’ve served over a million martinis here, apparently, so they know how to get them right. There’s now an equally smooth restaurant located right next door (The Speakeasy) and there’s even a nearby ‘Academy’ where the company trains up and coming bar staff. That’s how seriously they take their drinks at Dry Martini and it shows. (If that’s a step too far, they also now have a range of amazing quality cocktail-making merchandise you can buy to recreate the experience at home).
What their peers say
“This bar just recently celebrated making its millionth martini. This would be quite an achievement for any bar, let alone one like this, which takes such pride in the masterful creation of its drinks. One drink that I would highly recommend trying, even if it is only to share is a strange drink made with Szechuan Pepper Buttons (flower buds) that is served in a elegant and surreal carnivorous pitcher plant. Behind Dry Martini is its excellent restaurant, ironically called Speakeasy.” Nick Strangeway of Strange Hill
“The contemporary exterior conceals a gem of brass and dark wood, where bartenders push the limits (their gin and tonic jelly is excellent) but still have a complete education in the classics. The speakeasy dining room in back is a great addition to the bar.” Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown of Mixellany Ltd.
“We had heard about this bar for a long time before we actually got around to visiting it. Its a beautiful stand alone bar located right slap bang in the middle of Barcelona, with an old-worldly feel which is quite reminiscent of a classic hotel bar. It is a shrine to the famous cocktail that bears the same name, and which is honored in Martini-related artwork and served in a hundred forms. All the trappings of a traditional cocktail bar are here (bow-tied staff, leather banquettes, antiques and wooden cabinets displaying a century’s worth of bottles).” Sean Muldoon of The Dead Rabbit, New York City